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Playing in ancient greek


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Playing in ancient greek

  1. 1. Comenius Program 2010 - 2012 PLAYING IN ANCIENT GREECE Toys and games in ancient Greece
  2. 2. • Ancient Greek children played games strikingly similar to many of the games children play today. • Like many modern psychologists, Greek adults saw such games as a valuable way to prepare children informally for adult tasks and vocations. • Plato, a classical Greek philosopher (428-348 B.C.), wrote: “He who is good at anything as a man must practice that thing from early childhood, in play as well as earnest, with all the attendant circumstances of the action”. • Various ancient works of art show children at play. Also, archaeologists have recovered the remains of some ancient Greek toys.
  3. 3. Ancient toys Ancient Greek children played with many toys including: • little clay animals • horses on four wheels that could be pulled on a string • yo-yo’s • terra cotta dolls
  4. 4. Terra cotta dolls The doll is one of the most diachronic and widespread games in all cultures. Ancient Greece had a brilliant legacy in dolls, the presence of which we detect continuously in all the historical periods, where various types of dolls with various names made their appearance: idols, plangôns, nymphs, korês, korokosmion or koryllia, dagudes, glynes and nevrospaston.
  5. 5. Young people play yo-yo’s
  6. 6. Aiora An age-old game that in ancient Greece we find with the name aiora in the Byzantium a hanging aiora, and today as a swing. It was mainly played with by girls and small boys. It was made with a single or many ropes, the two utmost ends of which were tied to a tree branch, a horizontal beam, from the transom of a door or from wherever possible, thus shaping a U.
  7. 7. Krikilasia Games involving rolling wooden hoops, quite similar to those children play today, were also popular with ancient Greek children. A child with a hoop appears in the Hood’s exhibition on an oinochoe entitled Serving Boy Holding Tray and Hoop There are abundant literary references to the popularity of hoop bowling: in Euripides’ Medea, Medea’s young sons first appear when “fresh from their hoop bowling.” Similarly, a wealthy magistrate who endowed a gymnasium in Prirene encouraged the young men who frequented it to roll hoops.
  8. 8. Astragali The “αστράγαλοι” (knucklebones), were the items with which the game of “αστραγαλισμός” [astragalismos] was played, as well as several games of dexterity and games of chance, and they were also used as a means to predict the future and to provide divinations. The Ancient Greeks also considered them protective items and many times they became pieces of pendants, together with other protective items (amuletum). Today the “αστράγαλοι” are known to us as “κότσια”, a name that originates from Byzantine terminology. We do not know the exact time the game of “αστραγαλισμός” first appeared, and naturally the “αστράγαλοι”.
  9. 9. Astragalismos knucklebone playing in ancient Greek art. Children typically played this game, often regarded as the ancestor of modern jacks games, with the tarsal bones of sheep or goats. There were numerous variations on the games of knucklebones
  10. 10. Athirma The amaxis was a toy-object that kept the same name even during the Byzantium. Today we know it as a buggy or wheelbarrow. It was a small child’s toy, mainly for boys who were a maximum of 6-8 years old. In various vessels, roughly-made buggies are portrayed, effigies of small chariots with two tires, usually drawn by a child carrying in this a small animal.
  11. 11. Petavron The game that we know called Aiora h Vrachionios is a swing game different from the hammock. No ropes were used, but a large board that the ancient Greeks called “petavron”. At the same time the Aiora h Vrachionios is also a gymnastics apparatus. The game enjoyed a wide distribution both in the Greek world and in the Roman; it was also played in the Byzantium under the same name. Today it is called a see- saw.
  12. 12. Ephedrismos Ephedrismos was a popular game whose name is derived from the Greek word for “sit upon.” Two players place a stone upright on the ground and throw other stones at it from a distance. The player who fails to knock over the upright stone then carries the other player on his back while the winner’s hands cover his eyes. The pair runs around in this fashion until the losing player touches the stone.
  13. 13. Ephedrismos
  14. 14. Dielkystinda, another one type of team game
  15. 15. Ostrakinda Greek children also loved to play a game called ostrakinda. The name of the game is derived from that of the shell that is used during play. Greek children would take a shell and smear one side black. They referred to this side as “night,” while the blank side was “day.” The children then drew a line, divided into two teams, and decided which team was night and which day. One player would toss the shell, and the side whose color came up chased the other team. Anyone caught was forced to carry his pursuer on his back. Variations of ostrakinda are still played in Europe. English children play a version called “Crusts and Crumbs,” French children one called “Le Jour et La Nuit,” and Austrian children a game called “Schwarz-Weiss.”
  16. 16. Pentalitha The renowned game, even known today by the names of “πεντόβολα” [pentovola] (five throws), “πετράβολα” [petravola] (stone throws), “πεντεκούκια” [pentekukia] (five beans), “πετράδια” [petradia] (stones) and others, was known to the Greeks from very ancient times. In “πεντάλιθα” players used five small, smooth stones, five knucklebones or five small and flat pieces of shell.
  17. 17. Other games similar to many of the games children play today
  18. 18. Ball games Ancient Greek played numerous types of ball games
  19. 19. Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball
  20. 20. Episkyros - Arpastron Arpaston was a ball game that, in all probability got its name from arpasti, the ball with which it was played. This ball was of a small size and could be easily seized. It was played as follows: A group of children or adolescents threw the ball up high and while it fell, the player had to catch it in the air and throw it up high again. The opponents pushed one another, ran, feigned, jumped all together in order to grab the ball, tired themselves out and raised clouds of dust. Because of the violence that characterized the game, it may have belonged to “sferomachia”, a category of games that presupposed bodily strength and the ability to wrestle. In our times it is still played with the same name, arpaston or arpasti.
  21. 21. Trigono An interesting ball game established in ancient Greece at around 500 B.C., without us knowing any other details about the game or who devised it. It is in any case a fact that all games with a top or ball were popular. This particular game was played with three balls, that were called trigones and which were alternately thrown by the player, the trigonist, in the air forming a triangle. One was supposed to be in his/her hand and the other two in the air. The game could be played both by one player as well as more, therefore there was also competition
  22. 22. The three players that sit on the shoulders of the other three appear to be looking for something with outstretched hands from someone older who, supported on a walking stick, is prepared to throw a ball towards them.
  23. 23. Ball game like hockey It is a type of ball game where the players attempt with curved sticks to draw the ball towards them, movements that remind us a lot of modern hockey, a fact that would have to direct research around hockey and how it was invented.
  24. 24. A ball game like basketball Here two young boys are shown playing passé- boule, a game similar to modern basketball. The object was to toss the ball through a hole in an upright board stuck in the ground. Four other ancient Greek vases, all dating from the latter half of the fifth century, show versions of this popular game.
  25. 25. Strategy games The Ancient Greeks also played games that did not involve much physical activity also, such as marbles, dice, checkers and knucklebones. Below is a famous vase from the Vatican museum depicting Achilles and Aias playing 'Petteia' checkers.
  26. 26. “Solon, you Greeks always remain children. There has never been an old Greek. You heart because your heart does not remember any of the old beliefs of tradition nor the age-old knowledge…”. Plato (great Greek philosopher, 428 – 348 B. C.) Comenius Program 2010 - 2012 2nd junior high school Evosmos Thessaloniki Greece Zoe Takavakoglou Teacher of ancient Greek literature